Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather allowing what is now to move us closer to God. ~ Ram Dass
When we see horrific events in the world, we know there are personal traumas taking place around those events. The news only gives us facts, but for those of us who have survived trauma, we know the story doesn’t end when the news is over.
We know those who survive will suffer post-traumatic symptoms to some extent. We know they will need to seek healing. We know the road is long and for every two steps forward, there are often several back. We pray they will heal.
Within this healing is the need to restore faith in our fellow man. It is profoundly sad when we fully realize that there are people in the world who would do us harm (or harm those we love). This realization shakes us to our core. It makes us fearful and unable to trust. This fracture in all we have previously trusted needs to be consciously mourned.
Those of us who have suffered trauma, been a victim, or witnessed atrocity, need to mindfully mourn the loss of faith in our fellow man, even as we work to restore it.
Often, this grief is the cause of the depression we suffer with afterward. Sometimes we are so focused on our specific trauma we forget that we have witnessed a breach against humanity on an acute level. Take time to mourn this loss of faith.
Of course, we can’t let this loss of faith in our fellow man immobilize us. There is evil in the world. There are always those humans who inflict pain and suffering on others. They are usually those who have had great pain and suffering inflicted on themselves. This does not excuse their actions, it merely explains it. So how do we move past this loss of faith and find a new foundation to build upon?
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
The journey in restoring our faith in humanity is as unique to us as our trauma. However, these steps can universally heal us and guide us on the road.
Mourn the loss of faith in your fellow man – We must feel the depth of this transgression and what it means to us. Were we hurt by a friend, a parent, a stranger? We need to acknowledge the effect this loss of faith has had on our relationships before we can move to healing.
Ask the Divine for opportunities to restore your faith – If we but ask, God will send us the people and situations we need to restore our faith and reframe our thought patterns. I was so mistrusting following my attack, but God kept sending me angels to help me heal. A few times the angels were in a similar form to my attacker, which I really didn’t appreciate.(!) But it gave me the opportunity to come face to face with a certain physicality and move past the past. Continue to look for the good in people.
Be of service – Service is our quickest path to healing. Getting out of ourselves and helping others can restore faith like no amount of praying! As we see others benefit from our help, we begin to see the glimmer of hope and the flicker of faith.
So let us recognize that our faith in humanity has been profoundly shaken, but let us mourn it so we can move beyond the grief. The world needs our light and our faith.
We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in. – Ernest Hemingway
You are Still Beloved.